Whether seat selection is free or costs extra depends on a number of factors, including the type of ticket you purchase, your class of travel and your personal circumstances.
If you haven’t reserved your seat before check-in opens (24 hours before departure) you can choose your seat for free except with a Basic ticket.
With a Basic ticket (economy, hand baggage only), you can either pay to reserve your seat from the moment you book until check-in opens, or we’ll allocate you a seat when check-in opens. You can pay to change to a different seat, although your choice may be limited.
Please check if you fall into one of the following groups, some of which are able to reserve seats for free.
Members of the Executive Club and other oneworld frequent flyers are able to reserve seats at different stages, depending on their tier.
Free seat selection from the time of booking for everyone in your booking and friends and family on other bookings, who are travelling with you in the same travel class and on the same flight*.
Free seat selection from the time of booking for everyone in your booking*.
Free seat selection from seven days before departure for everyone in your booking*.
*You must be travelling on the booking (or in the case of Gold Members, one of the bookings) for these benefits to apply. They apply to British Airways flights only and are not available on Basic (hand baggage only) fares or group rate bookings. Exit row seats are not available to Silver or Bronze Members on long haul flights until 24 hours before departure. On some occasions, exit rows seats on short haul flights may not be available in advance due to operational reasons.
Tickets with increased flexibility allow you to make certain changes to the date and time of your flight. They also include free seat selection:
Flexible fares, including Fully Flex, Plus Flex and Business UK allow you to reserve seats for free from the time of booking.
Semi-flexible fares, including Semi-flex and Plus allow you to reserve seats for free from 48 hours before departure.
You choose your flexibility when you buy your flights. If you’re not sure what type of ticket you have, you can follow the instructions under 'How to reserve your seat' and we'll tell you whether you have to pay or not.
To get the best choice of seats and make sure your family sits together, it’s best to reserve your seats in advance, for which you might have to pay.
If you don’t reserve your seats in advance, we’ll do our best to seat your family together a few days before your flight departs. However, the seat selection may be limited at that time and your seats may be split across different rows or the aisle. We will make sure each child under 12 years sits next to an adult from your booking but children over 12 years are booked as an adult in our system and may sit separately.
Seats are free when you travel with an infant, (under 2 years) who won't be travelling in a seat of their own. You can choose a seat for you and everyonein your booking, free of charge, as soon as you've made your booking (except for bookings of over 9 people).
There's no charge for reserving your seat if you have a specific seating requirement because of your disability. In most cases, you can select your seat using Manage My Booking but sometimes you may need to contact us, e.g. for some types of developmental impairment.
This is what you need to do:
Book your flight.
Let us know about your travel needs at least 48 hours before your flight departs. Go to Manage My Booking and click on 'Seating' within the flight details section.
Select your seat. If you need any help, please contact us.
When you travel as a group, we’ll allocate your seats free of charge. While we will try to seat your group together, we cannot always guarantee it, particularly if your group travel is split across separate bookings. To ensure your group is seated together, or if you would like specific seats, you can pay to reserve your seats in advance (for groups booked in the UK and Ireland only). Please contact us for more information.
For extra legroom, exit row seats are available on longer international flights in World Traveller starting from £40/€44/$60. You will have to meet certain safety requirements to sit in an exit row seat.
Twin seats are available on selected longer international flights in World Traveller starting from £35/€42/$53 per seat.
Standard seats on our UK domestic and European flights start from £5/€6/$8 in Euro Traveller, and on longer international flights from £13/€16/$20 in World Traveller.
Bulkhead seatsare usually reserved for customers travelling with an infant (under 2 years) as this is where the fold-down cot tables are positioned, so you may not be able to reserve these seats.
Sometimes we may need to change reserved seats, even after you have boarded the aircraft. Although we will do all possible to prevent this, it might be unavoidable for a number of reasons including a change of aircraft due to operational, safety or security reasons, so we cannot guarantee your reserved seat.
If you’ve paid to reserve a seat, and we're unable to offer you that seat or a suitable alternative when you board your flight, you can claim a refund.
Like many airlines, we are unable to accept cash payments at many of the airports we operate from, including London Heathrow, Gatwick and North America. Please check with a member of our staff at the airport to find out if options are available for converting cash to a payment card.
Booking an extra seat for additional personal space
You can buy an extra ticket to keep the seat next to you free, e.g. for additional personal space or to secure a fragile or precious item, such as a musical instrument or painting.
Please contact us (or your travel agent) to make a booking for an extra seat as this type of booking cannot be made online.
If you arrive at the airport and haven't booked an extra seat in advance, please speak to a British Airways representative. If there are seats available in the cabin you are travelling in, you may be able to buy an extra seat.
At many airports, including London Heathrow, Gatwick and North America, you can only pay using a card. Please check with a member of our staff at the airport to find out if options are available for converting cash to a payment card.
All armrests lift but can't be positioned completely flat against the seat back.
Euro Traveller (short haul)/UK Domestic
All armrests lift fully so two seats to be used together.
World Traveller Plus (long haul only)
Armrests don't lift with the exception of some aisle seats for customers requiring disability or mobility assistance.
Business and First:
Club Europe (short haul)
Armrests don’t lift. All seats are divided by a fixed width centre console which creates a gap between the two seats.
Club World (long haul)
19 to 20.5”/48 to 52cm
Armrests don’t lift as the seats are contoured individual units, which can't be widened/changed.
Armrests don’t lift as seats are contoured individual units, which can't be widened/changed.
Reserving seats with our partner airlines
If you make a booking on ba.com or by calling a British Airways customer centre for a flight operated by American Airlines, Finnair, Iberia or Qantas, you can reserve your seats in Manage My Booking.
If you’re flying with one of our oneworld alliance partners and are an Executive Club Gold/oneworld Emerald member, a Silver/Sapphire member, or a Bronze/Ruby member, you can contact your local British Airways customer centre to reserve a seat for that flight.
In all other cases when you're flying with one of our partner airlines, please contact them directly to reserve your seat.
If you paid to reserve a seat on a flight operated by any of our partner airlines and would like to get a refund, please contact them directly.